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Channel Surfing: Syfy Eyes "BSG" Spin-off and "Three Inches," More "Glee," Mia Maestro Gets "Cutthroat," Paula Abdul to ABC, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing.

Syfy is said to be exploring the possibility of spinning off its Battlestar Galactica franchise once more and is said to be developing another spin-off series--besides for the currently airing Caprica--that would this time be set in space. "We're looking for other ways to spin off Battlestar beyond Caprica," Syfy's Mark Stern told The Hollywood Reporter. "That world is so rich. We're sitting down with (executive producer) Ron Moore and his team. It would not necessarily be a traditional series." No other details were available. The cabler also ordered a 90-minute pilot for drama Three Inches, from writer Harley Peyton and executive producer Bob Cooper. Project, from Fox Television Studios, revolves around a slacker who can move objects three inches with his mind and who teams up with other people who have useless superpowers. (Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that FOX is said to be close to signing a deal to expand Glee's second seasons to a lengthier 25 installments next season. "Season 2 will be much bigger and much longer," Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy told EW. "We are talking about doing 25 episodes as opposed to [the customary] 22." Murphy also indicated that he wants to take the Glee characters on the road, with the club perhaps competing in New York. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Recasting is underway on ABC drama pilot Cutthroat, from executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, as Mia Maestro (Alias) is said to be in advance talks to come aboard the 20th Century Fox Television-produced pilot and replace Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace). No reason was given for the recasting on the pilot, which is being directed by Bronwen Hughes (White Collar). (Hollywood Reporter)

Former American Idol judge Paula Abdul is close to signing a deal with ABC to appear in the network's revival of Star Search, where she would serve as something akin to a blend of host and judge, according to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "The Alphabet network had been wooing Abdul since last summer when she officially announced her departure from Idol," writes Ausiello. "There was talk of her joining Dancing With the Stars in some capacity, but a deal never came to fruition. It’s not clear if Abdul’s Star Search gig would preclude her from joining former colleague Simon Cowell as a judge on the forthcoming US version of his UK monster hit, The X Factor, which is slated to debut on Fox in the fall of 2011. (Star Search is being targeted for this summer.)" (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos has confirmed reports that Katherine Heigl will leave ABC's Grey's Anatomy. "A source in Katherine Heigl's camp tells me that the actress was never given a call time to return to work on the Grey's Anatomy set after her family leave ended earlier this month," wrote Dos Santos in an update. "According to this source, Heigl's 'calls weren't returned' when she phoned in asking when to report back. I'm also hearing that a statement may be made regarding this matter later this week." (E! Online's Watch with Kristin)

Season Three of HBO's True Blood will launch on Sunday, June 13th at 9 pm ET/PT. (Televisionary)

Pilot casting update: Treat Williams (Everwood) will star opposite Katee Sackhoff (24) in Richard Hatem's ABC drama pilot Boston's Finest; Donnie Wahlberg (Runaway) and Len Cariou (Damages) have been cast as the leads in CBS' untitled Burgess/Green cop drama pilot (a.k.a. Reagan's Law); Melissa Sagemiller (Raising the Bar) has joined the cast of NBC drama pilot Rockford Files; and Anthony Ruivivar (Traveler) has come aboard ABC drama pilot The Whole Truth. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stephen Lang (Avatar) has been cast in ABC drama pilot Matadors, where he will play Victor Galloway, a high-powered defense attorney who is called "The King of Acquittal." Elsewhere, former My Name is Earl star Ethan Suplee has been cast in FOX comedy pilot Nevermind Nirvana. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Carrie Preston (True Blood) has signed on for a multiple-episode story arc on CBS' The Good Wife this season, where she will play Elsbeth Mann, described as "a member of Peter's (Chris Noth) legal team." Just don't read too much into the casting. "Arlene isn’t a major presence in the third book," a True Blood insider told Ausiello. "A lot of the action takes place outside of Bon Temps, so [Carrie] probably had some free time on her hands." (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis has been cast in a five-episode story arc on Season Three of TNT drama series Leverage, where she will play "an intriguing woman with an unknown agenda" known only as The Italian. (via press release)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Amy Pietz (Caroline in the City) has been cast in a top-secret role on NBC's The Office, where she will appear in a multiple-episode story arc. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

20th Century Fox Television has signed an overall deal with Brannon Braga (FlashForward), under which he will develop new series projects for the studio and will likely be placed on a new or existing series next season. Braga has been based at the studio for the last few seasons working on 24 but co-created ABC's FlashForward. "He's known for his ability to write genre programming, and as a studio, we love that programming," said 20th Century Fox Television chairman Gary Newman. "It takes advantage of all the new opportunities the digital world gives you to connect with your rabid fanbase." (Variety)

BBC One has commissioned four-part drama Siege, about a botched kidnapping attempt at a London secondary school, that it will air over four consecutive nights. Script is written by Kate Brook and hails from Big Talk, Nira Park's production company which was behind such television series and films as Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz. (Guardian)

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens (Seabiscuit) has been cast in HBO's horseracing drama pilot Luck, where he will play a "down-and-out jocket who attempts to make a comeback, both personally and professionally," in the pilot which is executive produced by David Milch, Michael Mann, and Carolyn Strauss. (Variety)

Discovery has ordered six episodes of reality series Worst Case Scenario, which will feature Bear Grylls demonstrating how best to survive disasters from shark attacks to falling elevators. Series, from Pilgrim Films & TV, is expected to launch this spring. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bravo has renewed docusoap Millionaire Matchmaker for a fourth season, which will move Patti Stanger from Los Angeles to New York as she expands her business and prepares for her own wedding. (Hollywood Reporter)

Nestor Serrano (The Good Wife) will guest star on an upcoming episode of USA's Burn Notice next season. He'll play Tony, described as "a ruthless, ambitious crime boss who runs things in Miami for a New York-based criminal syndicate. He's a suspect in seven murders but always manages to keep his hands clean of evidence that could put him away. He leads a group of thugs who shake down the dock workers and steal from them on a daily basis." Burn Notice returns in June. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

VH1 will debut celebrity reality dating series What Chilli Wants, which will follow former TLC member Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas as she attempts to find love with the help of relationship expert Tionna Smalls, on Sunday, April 11th at 10:30 pm ET/PT. Series, from FremantleMedia North America, will have its first episode offered as a sneak peek on VH1's website beginning March 29th. (Variety)

Elsewhere, MTV has announced that it will premiere its new scripted comedy series The Hard Times of RJ Berger on June 6th at 11 pm ET/PT, immediately following the MTV Movie Awards. It will move to its regular timeslot of Mondays at 10 pm beginning June 14th. (Hollywood Reporter)

The CW has opted to flip its new Wednesday night reality programming block, with High Society moving to 9:30 pm ET/PT and newcomer Fly Girls airing at 9 pm ET/PT. (The Wrap's TVMoJoe)

Stay tuned.

Comments

Heatherette said…
Honestly, I can't say that I'm that excited about another BSG spin off, seeing as how I'm still trying to find some enthusiasm for Caprica. I had really high hopes for Caprica and, so far, I've found it to be pretty lackluster.
Anonymous said…
If you can't get into Caprica then you should welcome something that takes it back to the roots/in space. Either way you slice it, it's another chance to make something BSG related that you CAN get into again. Who wouldn't want a CHANCE at that?? I for one hope they do some kind of miniseries about the !st Cylon War with Husker from the Razor Flashbacks. That would be awesome!! I would love to see more of that with an actual budget and first team crew!

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